Jewell: we’re not a dirty team

WIGAN manager Paul Jewell is adamant his side “are not a dirty team” after yesterday picking up a £25,000 (€37,200) fine following their 1-0 victory over Newcastle.

Jewell saw six of his players booked at the JJB Stadium, incurring the automatic penalty as the Latics suffered again at the hands of an over-zealous official.

The match initially turned on a crucial penalty save from John Filan on the half-hour as the goalkeeper turned aside Nolberto Solano’s spot-kick.

That was for Ryan Taylor doing nothing more than place his hand on the shoulder of Antoine Sibierski.

Sibierski appeared to go to ground all too easily and Filan berated the midfielder, earning the first of those six cautions in the process.

Justice was served with Filan’s save — and just a few minutes later Taylor grabbed the winning goal courtesy of a stunning 28-yard free-kick from just outside the penalty area.

But after what unfolded against Arsenal two weeks ago with Phil Dowd, and with the FA deciding not to overturn Fitz Hall’s red card in the draw at Watford on Wednesday, Jewell has every reason to feel the officials are against him at the moment.

He said: “I think it was crazy that we had six players booked in a game between two honest teams. It was a game that certainly did not warrant that many bookings.

Two of the other bookings were awarded to Leighton Baines and Lee McCulloch by Alan Wiley, and they will serve suspensions against Fulham on March 17.

Jewell continued: “It’s disappointing we have lost two key players. At the moment there is just no consistency, and that is the thing that people have been harping on about for years. I don’t know where we go from here.”

The fine, however, is a small price to pay given the magnitude of a victory which restores Wigan’s six point cushion above the relegation zone — with 10 matches remaining.

Wigan’s mini-revival has now seen them claim seven points from their last four games, firmly putting behind them a club record run of eight successive league defeats.

Jewell added: “This is a game we would have lost a few weeks ago. The players deserve enormous credit for the way they have responded after losing those eight games.”

Jewell conceded that he did not have a good view of the penalty award, although Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder is adamant Wiley made the correct decision.

“I have seen it, and it’s a nailed-on penalty,” said Roeder. “Sometimes you don’t get those away from home, but there was nothing fortuitous about it.”

“I always expect Nobby to score,” added Roeder. “The way he scored penalties against West Ham and Liverpool, he put the ball in an area where it was unsaveable — this was saveable.

WIGAN: Filan, Taylor, Jackson, Boyce, Baines, Valencia (Camara 61), Landzaat, Skoko, McCulloch, Heskey (Kilbane 37), Folan.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Taylor, Onyewu, Bramble, Huntington (Carroll 87), Solano (Milner 62), Parker, Butt, Duff (N’Zogbia 62), Martins, Sibierski.

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).

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